Leeds KONP latest minutes

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Leeds KONP SOS NHS demo on 28th January. Went well with around 120 people, and then joined up with 30 BMA junior doctors’ very good press coverage nationally. Hilary Benn MP spoke; subject to some unfortunate heckling. We highlighted problems with delay in building the Children’s Hospital. The Trust are instructed by DHSC to only say positive things in press releases re new hospital building.

Upcoming events: – join us this Monday 6th Feb by the little roundabout outside Jubilee Wing at LGI 9.30 – 11. We will probably leave our banners up on the railings most of the day but might come and go after 11 to visit other picket lines. We’ll be back again at a similar time on 7th.

25th February: Possibly Leeds KONP and local We Own It demo as part of national action in Parliament Square; drawing attention to excess deaths associated with outsourcing.

11th March National demonstration in London over NHS crisis organised by SOS NHS & KONP.
The trade unions are supportive but preoccupied with industrial action at present, so size of demo
uncertain, however, it was felt important to go ahead and not wait. Several of us are going down independently.

NHS 75th Birthday march in July, probably organise event in Leeds. More info later.

Yorkshire Health campaigns update

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Leeds KONP has been focused on supporting strikes and planning the day of action etc. but is starting to get back into monitoring and challenging the local health bodies.

Calderdale : strikes there have been a key focus and working with Enough is Enough. Jenny said she is getting back into challenging the West Yorks ICB and Calderdale Partnership and Scrutiny Boards.  Public access was an issue at the last West Yorks Partnership Board meeting where the public were excluded from the agenda item on funding for local councils and at Calderdale Scrutiny Board where the rules have changed so that people now have to make a special, advance request for permission to speak. 

She has challenged that and intends to do likewise with the Calderdale Partnership Board where you can only submit written questions for them to read out.   Jenny noted that scrutiny of the full business case for the hospital reconfiguration is still ongoing as there are difficulties demonstrating that there is capacity in community based services to justify reducing capacity in the hospital.

Bradford – the Hewitt Review is calling for evidence from the public re the functioning of ICBs. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hewitt-review-call-for-evidence/hewitt-review-call-for-evidence 

John said that we do need to challenge public involvement in Scrutiny Boards and one way to do it might be to ask them to accept the position  in West Yorks Partnership Public Engagement, which Jenny thought was a good idea.

When York did their Hospital Services review which was open re proposed cuts, York campaigners carried out a People’s Hospital Review, which she thought worked very well and produced a lot of good, common sense suggestions re what people wanted.

Steve Carne – dear friend of patients, dear friend of the NHS, dear friend of campaigners, RIP

Condolences to everyone who knew and loved Steve, he will be massively missed but forever in our hearts.

A wonderful compassionate man who inspired many people to campaign on these most important issues facing us over the last decade.

Many will remember Steve as one of the organisers of the People’s March for the NHS in 2014 from Jarrow to London; whilst taking on the 999Call for the NHS reins. Seamlessly getting everyone on board and smoothing disputes.

Through his creative images and videos, he helped patients and staff figure out all the wheeling and dealing in the NHS after the Health and Social Care Act.

He explained the weasely government jargon in no uncertain terms. He often joined us on our Yorkshire marches, telling everyone how it is and what we can do.

Steve Carne on Leeds Art Gallery steps addressing the rally

Less well known was his amazing work in Malawi, training and empowering young people to shoot, direct and produce their own films.

An indefatigable campaigner, always with a smile and scheme to hand. An NHS soulmate. We will miss you Steve, RIP X

Fliers for 28th, 1st Feb TUC day of action, 6th Feb day of action, LeedsKONP minutes

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If you can help give out fliers and ask people to sign postcards to MPs at a stall in Headingly this Saturday 21st 3 – 4pm, that would be great. We will be near the traffic lights on Headingley Lane outside Sainsbury’s.

We hope that people will also support a march and rally in Leeds on Wed. 1st Feb – Protect the Right to Strike – called by Leeds TUC in response to national TUC’s call for a day of action against anti -strike legislation. Assemble 12 noon at Leeds Town Hall, march at 12.30, rally at 1pm. NEU, UCU and others are expected to be out on strike that day

6th February will be a another big day of action with both ambulance workers and nurses planning to be on strike together for the first time.

From Harrogate nurses strike yesterday

Nurses with placard – pay our nurses, we owe them our lives

It’s time to Unite and fight – LGI rally 28th January, 12pm

There is a lot going on- the NHS has never been so challenged.Years of underinvestment, massive staff vacancies, a lack of investment in hospitals, technology and ambulances.

We are organising a Saturday rally supporting the health workers 28th January at 12:00pm outside the LGI and Leeds Jubilee Wing.

We have invited speakers from the health worker unions and professional associations.

We will be holding a protest about the failure to fully fund a new Children’s hospital next to the piles of rubble that has been left behind.

You can help by sharing the information with friends, supporters.

Bring banners. We hope to see you there.

Leaflet front advettising the rally with a banner photo. End the Crisis in the NHS
Leaflet back, explaining the crisis in the NHS

Re: Helen Salisbury: Labour’s Wes Streeting disappoints: Dr John Puntis


Dear Editor,

Helen Salisbury is right to despair at the recent inept comments by Wes Streeting castigating GPs while indicating no clear plan to rebuild the NHS, now faced with the worst staffing crisis in its history (1). Although lack of knowledge and poor advice may explain his position, other concerns have surfaced around the taking of funds from a source with large interests in a US healthcare corporation (2). Claiming that the NHS should ask the private sector to come to its rescue (3) was strongly contested by David Rowland from the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (4). Rowland pointed out the parasitic and risky nature of independent hospitals, with doctors trained by the NHS (effectively a subsidy to them of £8 bn), poor safety record, lack of ICU facilities, frequent transfer of patients back to the NHS (6,600 in one year, costing the NHS around £80m) and poor governance arrangements. Rowland’s article effectively demolished the portrayal of the private sector as some kind of extra untapped resource that only ideologically mistaken left wingers could object to using (5).

The current crisis could well justify utilising (some would say requisitioning) any available capacity in the private sector as long as this was a temporary measure while rebuilding the NHS to a level which would then mean private providers became largely irrelevant. Labour’s commitment to increasing staff numbers is welcome, but what we also need to hear is that it will be prioritising primary care, public health and tackling the social determinants of health as part of a coherent strategy. As Abbasi points out (6), you won’t ease the pressure on hospitals or improve baseline population health and narrow inequalities unless this is embraced. Most importantly, it will definitely require significant additional long term funding to bring us up nearer to European levels of spending (7).

1) https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/81/health-and-social-care-com…
2) https://skwawkbox.org/2022/06/14/shadow-health-sec-streeting-takes-large…
3) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/08/people-in-pain-pri…
4) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/12/private-hospitals-…
5) https://lowdownnhs.info/private-providers/streeting-races-up-blind-alley/
6) https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p68
7) https://www.health.org.uk/news-and-comment/charts-and-infographics/how-d…

Competing interests: I am co-chair of Keep Our NHS

28th Jan – day of action for our NHS

Rally at 12 noon on Sat. 28th Jan by the multi- story car park/ mini roundabout outside Jubilee Wing at Leeds General Infirmary.

Planning at next meeting of Leeds Keep Our NHS Public on Wed. 18th January, 6.30pm

Front of flier advertsing 28th Jan
Back of flier explaining the NHS crisis

Action plan from 4th Jan

Full meeting notes

We had an excellent meeting, do join in or if you can help, get in touch. Coming up:

TOMORROW Sat 7th  KONP stall 12 noon on Commercial St, between Boots and Lands Lane, opposite the Coop bank. We will be asking the public to sign cards to their MP and put in our postbox, as we did on 10th Dec 

WEDNESDAY 11th JAN : Supporting ambulance pickets.  Gilda aiming to be at Seacroft ambulance station 9.30 – 11am . There may be pickets in LS9,  Bramley and South Leeds too . Will send more info later.

WED 18th JAN  SOME OF US WILL SUPPORT STRIKING NURSES AT HARROGATE HOSPITAL  9.30 – 11 as we think Leeds nurses are not called out this time. We may go back to H’gate on 19th.

SAT FEB 4th NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION ON THE CRISIS IN THE NHS. Focus likely to be LGI. Planning starts over a coffee tomorrow after the stall !  

SAT 11th Feb KONP AGM on zoom


Ambulance workers are coming out on 11th Jan. Need to check if the central station, in Leeds 9 , which is mainly Unison is out; last strike they came out at noon, also Bramley and south Leeds. RCN are calling people out on 18th and 19th Jan but this is selective and it looks as if Leeds not included this time. The closest action is Harrogate, as above, York plus the Integrated Care Board in Wakefield. Unite are still balloting and there is talk of RCN re-balloting in some areas. 

This is the major issue at the moment with daily headlines about the crisis. We thought there should be a national day of action.  John noted that SOS NHS meets tomorrow and he will feed in our view.

We Own It is calling for an event in London on 25th Feb.

We discussed media coverage, the Lack of analysis and challenge to the Govt’s narrative. John and his co-chair Tony O’Sullivan have been doing TV interviews but mainly LBC & Talk TV. 

Channel 4 have been in touch with us re a programme they are planning on the NHS. They are looking for a balanced audience but info sparse and not sure whether people will get much opportunity to speak. John has offered to contribute and will find out more. Martin would be happy to contribute as doc and patient if there is opportunity. John has written to the YEP and guardian re the crisis

NHS 75th birthday. We discussed whether we wanted to organise another demonstration or do something different. Given it is the 75th b’day we agreed it is definitely worth doing. We thought 1st July probably better than 8th but need to check whether there are clashing events in Leeds Centre and talk to KONP / SOSNHS re national plans so we dovetail. We also need to ask the Samba band to play asap. G & J To raise the date at KONP SG on 21st Jan. G to enquire with LCC and the traffic management company re available dates.

Join us Wednesday evening for LeedsKONP 2023 !

Happy New Year everyone !

Although the political scenario  looks grim, we plough on with renewed hope that we can make a difference over the NHS, Social Care, Austerity etc. buoyed up by the fact that huge rafts of key workers are prepared to take strike action and encouraged by the support and solidarity we give each other.

We will be taking stock and shaping up action plans for the coming months at the next meeting Wednesday 4thJanuary 6.30 – 8pm on Zoom.